Texas natural gas industry providing lifeline to European countries

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Published Saturday, November 26, 2022
by Bethany Blankley

(The Center Square) - The Texas natural gas industry is providing a lifeline to European countries, a new report published by Texans for Natural Gas (TNG) shows.

After Russia invaded Ukraine, and due to several other factors, "skyrocketing oil, natural gas and electricity prices" caused European countries "to swiftly diversify from Russian supplies," the report states. They looked to America, and Texas - a natural gas powerhouse - for help.

The U.S. became the world's largest LNG exporter in the first half of 2022, the U.S. Energy Information Agency reports, led by Texas. Texas produces roughly a quarter of America's natural gas supply.

The U.S. was able to meet European demand "largely thanks to Texas energy production and export infrastructure," the report notes, and largely because of the Port of Corpus Christi. The port ranks second for total LNG exports moved through it, having also increased LNG exports by 11.9 percent from the first half of 2021.

Nearly 75 percent of all U.S. exports went to Europe in the first of half of 2022 while EU countries and the UK decreased their reliance on Russian-piped natural gas by 40 percent, the report states. In the first half of 2021, 34 percent of U.S. LNG exports went to Europe. In 2021, 20 percent of primary energy consumed by EU countries came from Russia, according to the EIA.

In the first six months of 2022, more than 90 million tons of LNG moved through the Port of Corpus Christi to Europe, the report found. TNG also estimates that 96 percent of the additional planned U.S. LNG export capacity is located in the Gulf of Mexico and will be supplied largely by Texas.

"Texas is providing energy security not just for the United States but for the world," TNG, an education arm of the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), argues.

"Texas energy - from our wells in West Texas to our ports along the Gulf of Mexico - enabled America to meet European gas needs in a time of crisis," TIPRO president and TNG spokesperson Ed Longanecker said. "This report truly illustrates the critical importance of energy security. Without American natural gas, Europe would have been at the mercy of aggressive foreign powers."

The Port of Corpus Christi, known as The Energy Port of the Americas on Texas' Gulf Coast, was the first U.S. port to export crude oil, on Dec. 31, 2015. It was also the first port in Texas to export LNG, in February 2016. Loaded from Cheniere Energy's Corpus Christi Liquefaction facility, Cherniere became the first company in America to export LNG.

TNG's report, "Delivering Energy Security: Texas LNG Is Helping Keep Europe's Lights On," also notes that increased exports from Texas shifted to Europe in 2022 after 50 percent of LNG exports went to Asian countries in 2021.

In June 2021, the top three destinations for U.S. LNG exports were South Korea, China and Japan. By June 2022, the top three destinations were France, the Netherlands and Spain.

TNG maintains that European countries committed to their own national security must build out LNG infrastructure to avoid becoming reliant "on foreign actors like Russia."

"Now more than ever, the world must choose fuel that is associated with freedom and those who stand for it, not fuel that comes with strings attached," it says.

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